When he stepped into the cage Saturday at the UFC Apex, Buckley (16-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) entered on a two-fight skid. He exited with another highlight reel finish, a TKO via head kick of Andre Fialho (16-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC).
“I give myself a high grade with that,” Buckley told MMA Junkie and other reporters. “I got touched a little bit, but I was able to show people my chin ain’t suspect, that I can take a punch and can keep coming forward without being deterred or pushed back by anybody. I’m always going to move forward. At the same time, I don’t want to get touched at the end of the day. I think I got a high grade for this one.”
Buckley, 29, admitted he felt a lot of pressure prior to the bout. In the end, Buckley thinks he rid any doubt that surrounded him and his abilities in his first UFC bout at welterweight.
“When you’re coming off back-to-back losses, the UFC is a different kind of game now,” Buckley said. “To be honest, it’s a winning business. If you ain’t got no undefeated record and stuff like that, your job ain’t safe. You’ve got to keep going, keep pushing, and keep working for a win at all times.
“… I felt good. How did I look? Exactly. My biggest thing is just to be at 185 it prepared me for this moment at 170. It was just to show everybody there’s a new dog in town. ‘New Mansa’ definitely has a new reign at the 170-pound division.”
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